Skip to content

Longtime Delta council veteran Lois Jackson calls it a career

Leaving municipal politics this year after five decades, Lois Jackson said she will not be voting for Mayor George Harvie and will only vote for one member of the Achieving for Delta slate

Long-time Delta city council member Lois Jackson is calling it a career after almost five decades in civic politics.

Not only witnessing many changes in the community she loves, but also playing a part in its growth, Jackson told the Optimist she won’t be seeking re-election in this October’s civic election.

“It’s been a good run and we’ve accomplished a lot. I’m really proud of the things we’ve done and got to work with excellent councillors and staff over the years,” she said.

Jackson was first elected to Delta council in December 1972 and, except for one term when she didn't run for re-election, has served continuously.

She was Delta’s mayor from 1999 to 2018 and was also chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District for several years. She is currently a councillor again.

“I’ve done a lot and I’ve done what I wanted to accomplish. There’s so many things I can talk about but, you know, it’s been just such a pleasure to serve people all this time,” said Jackson.

In 1972, Jackson, a North Delta resident who campaigned for "orderly, planned quality growth patterns" and "preservation and production of agricultural lands," became the first female Delta alderman.

At that time, she was a married Sunday school teacher with three children, having also been the past chair of the North Delta Ratepayers Association.

One of 10 candidates in that election, Jackson captured the third and final seat up for grabs.

During that campaign, Jackson told the Optimist, "A woman's viewpoint on council has long been lacking."

Delta’s population was still growing rapidly since the opening of the George Massey Tunnel, bringing various pressures, challenges as well as ramifications that city council is dealing with today.

A political survivor, Jackson has run with a variety of slates over the years as well as running as an independent candidate.

She had long been considered a populist and her longevity in civic politics had often been credited to her ability to adapt to a changing landscape.

Still believing she had much to offer for council, Jackson was a late addition to former city manager George Harvie’s Achieving for Delta slate in 2018, winning a council seat.

However, during the last four years, it was clear Jackson and Mayor Harvie, whom she had hired to be Delta’s CAO in 2002, were at odds.

“I’m really disappointed in how things turned out, let’s just say,” she added.

Jackson, now in her 80s, said she won’t be voting for anyone on the Achieving for Delta slate, except for candidate Rod Binder, who ran with her on the Delta Independent Voters Association ticket in 2014 when she was re-elected mayor. He didn’t win a council seat in that race.

“I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to do. I’d certainly take a run against George if I was a little younger and didn’t have what I got now on my plate,” noted Jackson.

She expressed concern that potential full slates on council and school board will result in both ending up doing nothing more than “rubber stamping” without necessary questions and debate.   

Still a North Delta resident, Jackson late last year took an approved leave of absence but returned to the council table in March.

She added that she’ll wait to see who else decides to run for city council and school board to see if she’ll endorse anyone else, but has already been approached by some considering running and asking for assistance in the campaign.

A Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient, Jackson said she needs to focus on her family, but also hopes to offer her knowledge and experience to help the community in other ways following the Oct. 15 municipal election.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks